The Palawan Butterfly Garden is one of the dreamiest places to visit in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Needless to say, butterflies are the most beautiful, delicate, and angelic insects, like tiny fairies fluttering. To see so many colorful butterflies flying freely in a garden is quite a treat.
Palawan is one of the leading tourist destinations in the Luzon group of islands in the Philippines. It is an hour’s airplane ride from Manila with regular flights via Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific, the two leading domestic airlines in the country. A one-way ticket costs roughly P3,000 (US$68).
Records say that more than 200,000 foreign tourists came to visit in 2004. The most visited and highly popular tourist spots are the Underground River, Honda Bay, Coron Reef, El Nido white sand beaches, Tubbataha Reef, Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Iwahig Penal Colony and the Tabon Cave.
Considered as the country’s “Last Frontier”, Palawan is home to so many endangered species such as the Palawan porcupine, Palawan tree shrew, Palawan stink badger, monitor lizard, and dugong, as well as endangered migratory birds such as Philippine black noddy and brown-footed booby. Indigenous people groups, such as the Tagbanuas, Palawanons, and Bataks also live in the mountains of Palawan.
Palawan is generally a laid back island with less traffic, pollution and fewer people per square kilometer, which is why it is popular with tourists. Puerto Princesa City is Palawan’s capital city and the main thoroughfare for every tourist wanting to visit the island’s so many popular tourist spots. The main mode of transport is the tricycle.
About the Palawan Butterfly Garden
Located at 27 Bunk House Road, Santa Monica, Puerto Princesa, the Palawan butterfly garden is just a small garden with a simple façade. There is nothing fancy at the exterior but inside, it could be magical. Walking through the garden with butterflies of different colors and sizes fluttering around you, resting on your shoulders, and kissing the equally colorful flowers gives you a feeling as though you just stepped inside a magical, fairy-tale land.
Dragonflies also freely fly along. There is a hidden lover’s bench and a mini lagoon. At the entrance is a video presentation explaining the life cycle of the butterfly, which is nothing short of a miracle in Nature. The presentation is ideal and very educational for visiting students. The garden is a tiny representation of Palawan’s lush mountain foliage where tons of butterfly species thrive. The Palawan Butterfly Garden houses species that are unique in Southeast Asia.
This humble but popular garden was established by Roy Rodriguez, who used to be a tour guide in Palawan. He was said to have had a hard time whenever tourists, especially Japanese tourists, asked to see butterflies. There was a time when Roy took a group up the mountains to see just one butterfly fluttering about after waiting for hours.
Today, everyone wanting to see butterflies in abundance in Puerto Princesa knows where to go. The Palawan Butterfly Garden is only a tricycle ride away from any point in the city. It is open from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission fee is PHP50 (US$1.13)